Friday, October 30, 2009

NEW Pictures from Harvest Festival weekend!

Sid seriously working some magic.

A busy Saturday afternoon.

Friendly tasting room folk.

Dinner out on the Crush Pad.

Funk:30 provided the Blues...

The BBQ Crew. Thanks guys.

Bust a move.

Karen and Michele...working hard or hardly working??

Wine, Tequila and Ribs...Oh My.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Two month stint during Autumn when we work non-stop, drink kegs of cheap beer, and the men don't shave. The one and only Harvest.

Coming up this weekend:
Ribs and Blues at Midnight

An event you don’t want to miss. The 9th Annual Ribs and Blues Night at Midnight Cellars, featuring Carson’s Ribs flown in from Chicago with some great side dishes, along with Midnight’s “stellar” wine and the sound of Funk 30. Join us this Saturday, October 17th from 6-9 p.m.(or until Rich passes out...).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gemini Love

Check out this awesome review of our 2005 Gemini Reserve Red, found on the blog titled "Where's My DAMN Answer?"
"Midnight Cellars  in Paso Robles strikes again!! We of course had to taste all the wines while there but this was one that really stuck with us.  Not for how it tasted a few weeks ago but how it will taste in 6 months.  I was chatting with Rich Hartenberger Winemaker extraordinaire and he told me that this will be the best wine ever made in 6 months!!  While I am not sure because I cannot fast forward - BUT what I can tell you is that I have tasted a bottle of this from a wine that was produced a couple years ago and it has aged so well.  The wine from years past was so smooth and rich with just the right amount of balance of flavors. This wine is just a kick ass red.  Just great.  That bottle was far better now than it was a year ago. This high alcohol wine is so Yummy (my technical wine term) it is a great blend of Zin and Syrah and you can really taste blackberries and blueberries as well as hints of pepper, spice and nutmeg.  All and all this wine is a winner - Better be after all I walked out of there with a case!!"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Award Winners

Every summer, we participate in the Commercial Wine Competitions at the Mid State and Orange County Fairs. This involves shipping numerous bottles of yummy vino to a panel of experienced and discriminating judges. Judges swirl, sip and spit thousands of wines! Following are our top two winners for this year:

Orange County Fair: The 2005 Petite Sirah "Eclipse" wins a 4 Star Gold! Out of 3,089 total wines judged, only 26 were recognized as "4-star gold" winners. This is a full-bodied wine with dense fruit flavors and quite a perfect balance of tannin and acidity. Available in the tasting room for only $25/bottle.

Mid-State Fair: The 2005 Petit Verdot "Synnove" won a Gold medal! Petit Verdot is one of the lesser known red Bordeaux varietals typically found in blends. It is used to add tannin, color and an earthy characteristic to other wines. We bottled this interesting varietal all on its own. Come in and taste! It retails for $28/bottle.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

September Block Party!

September 5th marks the date of yet another 46 West Block Party! This one takes place at Donati Family Vineyard, which is located on the corner of 46 West and Vineyard Dr. From 5:30-7:30 p.m. you can enjoy spectacular wines from all the 46 West Wineries, Santa Maria style BBQ and live blues music from local band, Funk 30. Best part is, this event is only $20 and includes your special logo glass. Come join us and celebrate the beginning of harvest season! Tickets are available at

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cookoff Debauchery

Foodies and winos ran wild at the Winemakers' Cookoff, which took place last Saturday evening. Thirty wineries furiously prepared unique and delicious entrees for hundreds of hungry guests, poured bottles upon bottles of award winning wines and bribed the night away in hopes of collecting enough ballots to win 1st place.

Obviously my personal favorite was our very own filet wrapped bacon, but then again I have a much more sophisticated palate than most...or so I like to think ;) Seriously though, if this doesn't get your taste buds going, I don't know what will:

Filet Wrapped Bacon
~in a shallot and port wine reduction sauce~
Served with a lemony corn, celery, bacon and almond relish

Port infused triple chocolate brownies topped with a bacon dusting

...because everyone loves bacon, right?

Congratulations to Martin & Weyrich & York Mountain for winning 1st place Judges Choice Award with their Carne Asada Tacos topped w/ Kike's famous roasted Tomatillo Salsa!

And congratulations to Sylvester Winery for winning 1st place People's Choice Award with their Lamb and Beef Shish Kabobs in Cabernet Sauvignon reduction sauce.

Thirdly, I must note that Mondo Cellars created the most delicious lamb burger I've ever had in my life! Australian lamb topped with caramelized sweet onions, sun dried tomato and feta aioli, purple cabbage and mint slaw on a sweet Hawaiian bun.

Thanks to everyone who participated and the Rotary for another great year! We will be back.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

11th Annual Winemaker's Cookoff


This is definitely the most exciting local event in Paso Robles wine country! Join Midnight Cellars and about 30 other wineries as we grill up some gourmet grub and pour outstanding wines on August 8th from 6-9 p.m. at the River Oaks Hot Springs in Paso Robles. Blankets and beach chairs are encouraged, as this is a casual event. Tickets are $75 per person and available for purchase at .

P.S. Did I mention that we won 1st Place People's Choice and 2nd Place Judges Choice Awards last year? This year we aim for top in both categories with our filet wrapped bacon. Sound interesting? We thought so... See you there!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Neighborhood Block Party

Join Midnight and the rest of the 46 West wineries for our July Block Party next Saturday, July 11th. It's a casual gathering featuring a few excellent wines from each winery, Santa Maria-style BBQ (compliments of our very own Rich Hartenberger) and live music by local band Stage Fright! This event will take place at Doce Robles Winery from 6-8 p.m. and the cost is only $20 per person, including your 46 West logo glass! What a deal...Tickets are available at or at the door. Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Releases

We are happy to announce the official release of some new wines! They are now being poured in the tasting room and are also available for purchase on our website at .
2006 Full Moon Red

The new vintage of your favorite "everyday red!"

50% Syrah, 40% Zinfandel, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Still only $14/bottle.

2006 Sangiovese - "Starlight"

A real treat for those who love Italian Brunellos or Chianti Classicos!
Only 92 cases produced, and we will sell out fast.
$23.00 each

2006 Syrah - "Nocturne"

Flavors of black cherry, plum and strawberry accented by an intriguing earthy spiciness.

A varietally-correct crowd pleaser!

$24.00 each

2005 Petite Sirah - "Eclipse"

Our second offering of Petite Sirah. A real mouthful.
$25.00 each

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Painless Paella

Try this delicious Paella reicpe at home tonight, compliments of Andre Averseng of Dining with Andre. Pair with Midnight Cellars Pinot Noir and invite your friends over for a feast!

3 oz. olive oil
10 chicken legs
6 oz. chorizo, sliced
3 oz. garlic (or more if you wish!)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups short grain white rice, such as Italian Arborio
1 medium Spanish onion
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 tsp. saffron threads
salt and white pepper to taste

Heat olive oil, over medium-high heat, in a large and heavy oven-proof pot with cover.

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, sautee in olive oil until lightly browned, about 7 minutes on each side. Remove from pan.

Add onion and peppers, cook until they're transparent and soft.

Add the chorizo, garlic and saffron. Stir. Add the rice, sautee until opaque, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken legs and stock. Bring to a low boil. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed.

*If you wish to add seafood, clean and prepare mussels, shirmp, squid and clams...add in the final 5-10 minutes. The clams and mussels should open, the shrimp should be pink and the squid tender.

*Paella can be baked in an oven at 450 degrees if the cook doesn't wish to prepare it on stovetop.

For presentation, top with cooked asparagus spears and flat leaft parsley.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pinot and Paella this Sunday!

Looking for something to do this weekend? The 6th Annual Pinot & Paella Festival is happening this Sunday, May 31st from 2-5pm at the Templeton Community Park.
Join us as 15 of the area's best Paella chefs cook up some unique recipes to pair with Pinot Noir from 20 different Paso Robles wineries. Live music by "world-guitar-fusion" trio, Incendio.
Tickets are still on sale at for $65. Price inlcudes commemorative Reidel glass and plate. Proceeds benefit several Children's Arts, Theater and Music programs in San Luis Obispo County. For more information call Windward Winery at (805)239-2565.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Finally some new pictures!

Thanks to Bonnie's camera we have some new photos from Wine Festival weekend. It was quite the busy 3 days, with a taco bar feast and amazing live music on Friday, appetizers all day Saturday and the Bootleggers playing in the backyard on Sunday! We were happy to announce the release of a few new wines as well, including the 2005 Petite Sirah, 2006 Sangiovese, 2006 Syrah and the new 2006 vintage of Full Moon Red.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Paso Robles 27th Annual Wine Festival

Come visit Midnight Cellars during Wine Festival Weekend - May 15-17, 2009. Here is a list of what we'll be doing all weekend:

FRIDAY-SUNDAY: We'll be open all weekend, serving our stellar wine along with appetizers! Come by and taste some of our new releases, including our Sangiovese, Syrah, and Petite Sirah!

FRIDAY: Join us for a casual Midnight soiree - nothing fancy - just some food, wonderful wine, conversation and lovely live chamber music. Begins at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. $35/pp; $25/Club Members.

SUNDAY: Mary Jane's famous meatballs will make a great accompaniment for the rockin' music of Tim Jackson and the Bootleggers! Join the band from 1-5 p.m. in Midnight's backyard. Food, wine and fun will be had by all! It's required!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Local Wine Trivia

While sitting in the tasting room and surfing web, I came across some fun and interesting trivia questions on the Paso Style Living website ( I encourage you to check it out and test your knowledge! Below are some questions from the website.

1. Zinfandel is often considered California's grape, but it's origin is Croatia. Zinfandel has a sister grape which was also traced back to Croatia. What is Zinfandel's sister grape?

d)None of the Above

Answer: Primitivo. Primitivo and Zinfandel are very closely related and can both be traced back to a common ancestral grape variety from Croatia. Actually Primitivo has many of the same Zinfandel characteristics.

2. The Paso hillsides are so beautiful this time of year. It also reminds us of years past before Paso was known for it's great wine it was considered the _________ City?

d)None of the Above

Answer: Almond. California is the largest producer of almonds in the world, and 75 years ago Paso Robles had the highest concentration of almond trees anywhere in the world. Almond production is still an important product, but much of the production has moved to the Central Valley. Both Walnuts and Pistachios are grown locally, but if you think historically Pistachios are relatively new to the US. Iran is the largest producer of Pistachios in the world. Pistachio is a Farsi (Persian) word.

3. Most of you have seen the movie "Sideways". In the movie, Miles coveted a special bottle of Wine. What was the Winery and varietal of that special wine?

a)Sea Smoke - Pinot Noir
b)Silver Oak - Cabernet Sauvignon
c)Cheval Blanc - Merlot
d)None of the Above

Answer: Cheval Blanc - Merlot. Yes, the very special bottle of wine while Miles cherished so much was a Cheval Blanc which blends two grape varieties to form their great wines, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Merlot is normally the predominate grape in this wine, but varies by vintage.

4. Paso Robles is quickly becoming well known as an excellent Rhone wine producing area. Tablas Creek is a partnership with the famous French Rhone producer Chateau de Beaucastel. To Americans, Syrah is probably the most common Rhone wine. In the Northern Rhone Valley of France Syrah is the predominate red wine grape and Viognier is the predominate white wine grape. What is the most common blending grape for Syrah in the Northern Rhone Valley

d)None of the Above

Answer: c, d. The primary blending grape with Syrah in the Northern Rhone Valley is the white wine grape Viognier. Some regions of Northern Rhone do not allow any blending so that would make d an acceptable answer. Grenache and Mouvedre are allowed in Southern Rhone wines.

5. What famous Wild West Outlaw had roots in Paso Robles?

a)Frank & Jesse James
b)Billy the Kid
c)Doc Holiday
d)None of the Above

Answer: Frank and Jesse James. Frank and Jesse's Uncle Dury James lived on a ranch on the Paso Westside. Dury's cabin is still there today about 1/2 mile east of Norman Winery. Frank and Jesse visited their uncle often. They would hangout frequently at the Old Paso Inn.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thanks for a great Zin Festival

Thanks to everyone who visited us during Zinfandel Festival last weekend. It was a long but fun and successful weekend for us, and we hope you had a great time as well! Here are some pictures from the wine club get-together on Friday:

Karen, Rich, and Sid hiding.


Crazy friends.

The Lineup

Mary Jane Hartenberger (in red) and friends.

Nicole, Rich, and Sid drinking on the job.

Karen & Zach washing glasses.